Bengali-style tomato chutney is a sweet and savory chutney full of flavors. Traditionally, it's known as tomato khejur (date) chutney. No Bengali feast is complete without this simple chutney. It's very easy to make and gets ready in just 20 minutes.
When I was a kid, we had a lot of Bengali neighbors, and my best friend - Manali was a Bengali too.
Her father was my father’s colleague and they got posted together to the same station, thrice – Dhanbad, Sri Lanka, and Shimla. So, we got the opportunity to stay together for 6-7 years.
As we were best friends, we ate at each other's house quite frequently. That’s how I developed the taste for Bengali food and it's still one of my favorite cuisines.
The recipe which I am sharing today-Bengali style sweet tomato chutney is a side dish that Manali's mother used to make on almost every occasion. Most Bengalis do that.
Sadly, we lost Manali in an accident a few years back. Though she is gone now, the beautiful memories of the time we spent together and the taste of food we relished at each other’s home, will always stay fresh in my mind.
What goes in Bengali tomato chutney?
To make Bengali style sweet tomato chutney, you will need the ingredients shown below:
- Tomatoes: Use a juicy red variety of tomatoes in this recipe.
- Raisins: Black or golden, both are fine.
- Indian five-spice blend (panch phoran): Panch phoran is a mix of five whole spices and it gives a very distinct taste to any dish it's added to. You can easily find it in any Indian grocery store or online. However, if you can't find it, mix fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, and black mustard seeds in equal quantities.
- Mustard oil: Traditionally Bengali chutney is made with mustard oil and it's a key ingredient of this dish. Mustard oil has a very strong flavor and you won't get it from any other cooking oil.
How to make (step by step instructions)?
Step 1: Heat oil in a cooking pot. Add dried chilies and panch phoran. Saute until the spices turn fragrant.
Step 2: Add turmeric powder and red chili powder.
Step 3: Saute for a few seconds.
Step 4: Add grated ginger and saute for around 30 seconds.
Step 5: Add chopped tomatoes and salt. Mix.
Step 6: Cover the pot and cook on a medium flame for 4-5 minutes or until the tomatoes turn mushy.
Step 7: Add chopped dates, raisins, and sugar.
Step 8: Mix and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Your delicious Bengali sweet tomato chutney is ready to be enjoyed!
How to serve?
This chutney can be served cold or warm with any Indian meal as a side dish.
Bengalis also serve tomato khejur chutney with Khichari during Saraswati puja.
You can also spread it on toast or serve it with poori or paratha (Indian flatbread)
To store, keep in an airtight jar and refrigerate for up to a week.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Use a juicy red variety of tomatoes to make this chutney.
- If you don't have panch phoran, mix fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, and black mustard seeds in equal quantity and use that.
- To add heat to this chutney, add chili flakes.
- Don't overcook ginger otherwise, it will turn bitter.
- Add sugar carefully as the dates and raisins will also add sweetness to the chutney.
- The amount of sugar you add will also depend upon the sweetness of the tomatoes you are using.
- If using mustard oil, heat it till it reaches the smoking point and then switch off the stove. Allow it to reach back the room temperature and then start making the dish.
Frequently asked question
No, to make this tomato chutney, you will need fresh tomatoes.
No, it's a sweet chutney with very mild heat from the chilies which also gets balanced by all the sweet ingredients added to it.
More easy chutney recipes
If you are looking for more chutney recipe ideas, don't miss checking the following links:
- Sweet Mango Chutney
- Green Mango Chutney
- Tomato Coriander Chutney
- Peanut Chutney
- Apple chutney
- Apricot chutney
More easy tomato recipes
Looking for more ideas to add tomatoes to your meals? The following easy tomato recipes are worth checking:
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Bengali style tomato chutney
- 1 teaspoon panch phoran - Indian five spice blend
- 4 roughly chopped medium-sized tomatoes around 2 cups
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1-2 whole dried red chilies
- 2 dates pitted and chopped
- 1 tablespoon black or golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon sugar/ powdered jaggery adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon mustard oil
- Heat oil in a pan. Add dried red chilies and panch phoran. Saute for a few seconds or until the spices become fragrant.
- Add turmeric powder and red chili powder. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add ginger and stir for around 30 seconds before adding tomatoes and salt.
- Mix everything and cover the pan. Let it cook for 4-5 minutes or until the tomatoes turn soft.
- Add chopped dates, raisins, and sugar. Mix and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Switch off the stove and allow the chutney to reach room temperature.
- Enjoy your Bengali style tomato chutney.
- To make panch phoran at home, mix fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, and fennel seeds in equal quantities.
- Don't overcook ginger otherwise, it will turn bitter.
- To make this chutney spicy, add chili flakes.
- Add sugar carefully as we are also adding raisins and dates.
- The amount of sugar will also depend upon the sweetness of the tomatoes.
- This chutney tastes the best if made in mustard oil but you can use any other neutral-flavored oil too.
- If using mustard oil, heat it till it reaches the smoking point and then switch off the stove. Allow the oil to reach a manageable temperature before adding panch phoran and red chilies.
- More recipe tips and tricks are given in the post above. Please follow them to make this recipe.